As we finish our study of John 11 and the story of Lazarus I can't keep from wondering what those four days of being "dead" were like for Lazarus. It reminds me of the scene in the movie "Field of Dreams" where the ball players come and go from the corn field. At one point Ray wants to know "what's out there...beyond the corn"? Shoeless Joe just smiles and we don't get any answers. I wonder if Lazarus had that kind of smile as people asked him those questions. Honestly, we don't know a lot about the "hereafter". What we do know is WHO is present in the hereafter; the Son of God. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. Dare we speculate about the nature of the very long life we are looking forward to as believers? Paul and John both had glimpses of "there" and wanted to go. What's out there? I'm looking forward to finding out . Any thoughts?
To the people present in Bethany it seemed like Jesus was four days late. In fact, in the Middle-Eastern climate it really looked and smelled that way! Lazarus had been in the tomb for four days and the process of decay was underway. Nothing that I know of is quite as nasty a smell as decaying flesh. So, when Jesus told the people to remove the stone, Martha was absolutely right when she said, "By now he stinketh." As we will see (Lord willing) on Sunday, there is more to this story than meets the eye. The brief history of Lazarus is a picture of the world and of much of what we see on a daily basis. I see a lot that stinks. Broken people, broken homes, broken lives, broken kids...sometimes it seems too late. What are you smelling these days? Do you think the initiative of Jesus can make a difference?